Attention all VPTA members:
The VPTA has been vigilantly monitoring the situation surrounding COVID-19 as this is unprecedent times we are all experiencing. In this time of uncertainty, we will continue to monitor the developments around the spread of coronavirus. As with all public health situations, VPTA relies primarily on the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, and the U.S. Office of the Surgeon General for the best information and preventive strategies. We refer you to the following resources to assist in better understanding of best prevention practices regarding physical therapy and your workplace. , the
For those in private practice. We also wanted to make sure you knew about the following:
Furthermore, the Private Practice Section also has dedicated a hub regarding content knowledge on advocacy, legislation, telehealth, business operation, and human resources to help direct and guide you and your practices.
Whatever happens over the next few weeks, stay calm and follow the facts. Encourage calm in your workplaces – but be prepared!
Finally, wash your hands and DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE!
Ron Masri, PT, DPT, OCS, ATC, FAAOMPT
Virginia Physical Therapy Association
Payor and Practice Relations Chair
Q: What is the role of the PT/PTA during the response phase of COVID-19?
A: The FSBPT has issued this document in response to the many questions they are getting and may help regulators when addressing these questions.
Q: Is physical therapy considered essential or non-essential?
A: As of March 19, 2020 the short answer is essential and you can
Q: Should I keep my clinic open? Should I continue practicing?
A: The best choice (if there is one) for each clinic and clinician, ultimately, is going to vary by patient population and the providers’ best professional judgment. One of APTA’s resources, APTA Statement on Patient Care and Practice Management During COVID-19 Outbreak, reiterates this perspective.
Q: Can I reuse my face mask?
A. Please look to the CDC for guidance on this. You can find information specifically about facemasks here and other PPE and equipment here.
Q: How does the CARES Act benefit PT/PTA/Students?
A: Please read APTA's Information Bulletin that was released on March 28.
Q: Can I perform E-Visits in Virginia?
A: E-visits are for Medicare (nationally regulated, so it is allowed in VA). Otherwise, it is a payer by payer policy for whether telehealth in any form is allowed, how it will be paid, and how it needs to be documented.
Q: What is an E-Visit?
A: In its 2020 physician fee schedule final rule, CMS describes e-visits as “non face-to-face patient-initiated digital communications that require a clinical decision that otherwise typically would have been provided in the office.” The code descriptors for the HCPSC codes related to e-visits suggest that the codes are intended to cover short-term (up to seven days) assessments and management activities that are conducted online or via some other digital platform and include any associated clinical decision-making.
Q: Is an e-visit a telehealth service?
A:No. An e-visit is considered a service furnished remotely using technology but is not considered a Medicare telehealth service. Under Medicare physical therapists are still not recognized as telehealth providers. An e-visit does not constitute telehealth under the Medicare definition. Under commercial payer policies, the answer varies, so check with your payer. Update as of 3.31.20: Anthem Re: Telehealth
Q: Can I perform Telehealth?
A: Please reference Health and Human Resources webpage. A relevant excpert: During the COVID-19 national emergency, which also constitutes a nationwide public health emergency, covered health care providers subject to the HIPAA Rules may seek to communicate with patients, and provide telehealth services, through remote communications technologies. Some of these technologies, and the manner in which they are used by HIPAA covered health care providers, may not fully comply with the requirements of the HIPAA Rules. OCR will exercise its enforcement discretion and will not impose penalties for noncompliance with the regulatory requirements under the HIPAA Rules against covered health care providers in connection with the good faith provision of telehealth during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency. This notification is effective immediately.
Q. Tell me more about the "Blanket Waiver" system that is now in effect.
A: The waivers don't affect state laws or regulations, or change the services reimbursed—or not reimbursed—by CMS. That means PTs still can't be reimbursed for telehealth. Read more.
Q: I'm a student/educator. What does this mean for me?
A: CAPTE released this statement on March 20, 2020.
Q: Will there be any waivers for CEU requirements for license renewal?
A: The PT Licensure Board has the authority over license renewals. They can be reached at 804-367-4674.
Q: What exactly do Gov. Northam's Executive Orders say?
A: Executive Order 53 Executive Order 55